Does Race Matter in Canada?

Canada and United States: Who Would You Not Want as a Neighbor

Canada and United States: Who Would You Not Want as a Neighbor. Source: World Values Survey

At first glance, Canadians appear quite tolerant of other races, according to their answers to the World Values Survey question on neighbors. By comparison, those in the U.S. appear to consider it slightly more wary of a neighbor of a different race.

However, the similarity in results between the United States and Canada challenges the “myth of racelessness” in Canada (Sefa Dei, 2007). Race remains an issue worth discussing in Canada, but language and ethnicity are also large issues. As seen in census measures, possible outbreaks of violence, and in preference policies racial attitudes may be more publicly subdued in Canada than they are in other countries. As such it may appear that identity-based issues are more difficult to identify (Warburton, 2007)

The Canadian Perspective on Apartheid in South Africa

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation Presents: “South Africa’s Racial Problem: Is It Any Concern of Ours?” (1952): Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) radio clip on Apartheid in South Africa

Broadcast in 1952, the clip shows early Canadian awareness of global racial attitudes. The views expressed in this clip pre-empt the “threat to world peace” that Apartheid would cause. Hence, Canadians, as fellow British subjects, spoke out against Apartheid. However, this international perspective could also divert attention from tensions that might exist within Canada.

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